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The Importance of Being Simple

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I used to get anxious when I had to manage a data center. It felt like a never-ending battle of “it’s too slow,” “it’s not working right,” and my absolute favorite: “ur fil3z haz been l0ck3d pay uz in bitc0in U n00b.” In the complex world of data center management, simplicity is a virtue often unnoticed by all except those knee-deep in the madness. I would argue it’s a critical component in securing these vital infrastructures and maintaining what sanity admins have left. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of simplicity and how it can help secure data centers while enhancing efficiency, reducing errors, and improving overall security.

Complexity: A Double-Edged Sword

Data centers are inherently complex. They house a multitude of servers, storage devices, and networking equipment, all interconnected in a web of digital interactions. While this complexity is necessary for the vast array of services data centers provide, it also presents a significant challenge regarding security.

Complex systems are more challenging to secure, period. They have more potential points of failure and are more difficult to monitor effectively. Each additional device, connection, or piece of software is another potential entry point for attackers. Furthermore, managing security in a complex environment can be overwhelming, increasing the attack surface, which means a higher likelihood of infiltration or human error.

The Power of Simplicity

Simplicity, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool in enhancing data center security. A simpler system is easier to understand, monitor, and secure. It reduces the number of potential attack vectors and makes it easier to spot anomalies.

Here are some ways simplicity can be incorporated into data center security:

Streamlined Security Policies

Having clear, straightforward security policies makes them easier to understand and follow. This reduces the likelihood of mistakes and ensures all staff members know how to respond to potential security threats. Consider adopting a Zero Trust policy for more extensive IT management and a Zero Trust Data Resilience policy regarding backups. They may seem complex initially, but both focus on simplifying the amount of access and privilege admins have while also creating a better understanding of the access granted to infrastructure at large.

Automation

Automating routine security tasks can reduce complexity and the potential for human error. It also frees staff to focus on more complex and strategic security issues. When automation is paired with good Zero Trust practices put in place, not only is security posture greatly enhanced, but the amount of individual access (and, as a nice byproduct, human labor) required to manage tasks and services is reduced.

Evaluate Simpler Solutions

Lastly, look into replacing complex systems when you can’t fix them yourself (or don’t have the energy cause, let’s face it, this stuff is tricky). One of the reasons Object First exists as a company is our perception of how needlessly complex and challenging it was to secure backup storage. We focused on making a solution that respects the admin’s time rather than consuming it, and many other vendors are doing the same.

Conclusion

While data centers are inherently complex, embracing simplicity in their security strategies can yield significant benefits. By streamlining security policies and leveraging automation where appropriate, data center admins can enhance their infrastructure’s security posture and reduce the risk of breaches. Ensure that technology evaluation is part of your yearly routine and get ahead of budgeting because a more secure and straightforward solution could easily be in your future. If you want to see how simple we have made securing Veeam backup data, book a demo with one of our super cool SEs.

In data center management and security, less is likely more.

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